SPECIES: Gekko gecko
IUCN REDLIST: NOT EVALUATED
Tokay geckos can be found across most countries in South East Asia and are widely spread throughout many different types of habitat. They are more common in warmer regions of Asia, such as India and Bangladesh—and can also be seen in northern Australia. Tokay gecko’s typical habitats are tropical rainforests and cliffy areas. But they adapted well to human presence and can always be found around the island in bungalows and near lights.
Tokay geckos are upon the largest species of gecko. They have vertically split eye pupils along with a small, basic ‘third eye’ on the top of their head to sense light. They have a distinct, colourful pattern with grey/blue skin with many reddish spots, which are more prominent on male specimens. When Tokay gecko’s age and grow in size their spots and blue colouring become a more dusty grey.
Other than when in breeding seasons, Tokay Geckos are solitary creatures and are nocturnal, meaning they are active during the night. They are very territorial and will aggressively defend their space if necessary. However on the island as food is plentiful there is less aggression towards other individuals over territory and often small family groups or pairs are seen together. Remarkably, Tokay Geckos also have the ability to detach their tails to distract predators and regenerate a new one within 3 weeks!
Tokay breeding season normally lasts 4-5 months, in which mating occurs frequently. Males attract females with a mating call, and during fertilization, the male holds the female by gripping her neck with his teeth. Tokay eggs are laid roughly every month on a flat, hard surface and both parents guard them until they hatch and they can live up to 10 years old.
ECOSYSTEM ROLE & HUMAN BENEFITS
Tokay Geckos regulate insect populations and reduce the damage they cause to plants, they also serve as a food source to several bird, reptile and frog species, Tokay Geckos are a favourite of the Tree snake. in some cultures Tokay geckos are seen as good luck, they are also very popular in the pet trade. On the island the locals BBQ them occasionally, but they are much more interesting to watch than eat.
Deforestation and habitat loss is the main impact on this species, but their ability to adapt to human environments makes them more resilient to this change. The consumption of this species can also have an impact, especially when a mass collection for a BBQ on the island begins.
The tokay gecko gets its name from its distinct mating call—which makes a ‘to-kay’ sound.
** This data set was written by David Stanley of Bournemouth University, England and edited by Stephanie Young**
***Identification of these species has been made through, photographic documentation cross referenced with external specialists and identification books. Any errors in our database will be rectified upon notification, if you feel that we have misidentified any species please help us to improve our research through our contact us page. All people involved will be acknowledge in the website and reports***
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